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Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,552 ratings  ·  381 reviews
Simone Biles entrance into the world of gymnastics may have started on a daycare field trip in her hometown of Spring, Texas, but her God-given talent, passion, and perseverance have made her one of the top gymnasts in the world, as well as a four-time winner of Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro.

But there is more to Simone than the nineteen medalsfourteen of them goldand the
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Zondervan
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Liv It doesn't really have a theme. It's about her life.…moreIt doesn't really have a theme. It's about her life. (less)

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Hannah (FreeInFiction)
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book. THIS BOOK. So overall, I love reading about empowering females and this definitely had that. Simone Biles is so strong, fierce, and inspiring I just would love to hear more about her world. Reading about gymnasts and dancers with their lives and how they deal with pressure definitely helps me a lot too. I used to be a gymnast and after reading this book, I MISS IT SO MUCH. Simone's story is so inspiring and made me want to go out and do something. Like right away. LETS GO PEOPLE

Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star, own-ebook
Simone gets 5 million stars. This books gets only 3.

I didn't know much about Simone Biles before seeing her at the World Championships and the Olympics and even during and after, aside from the fact that she was a terrific athlete and one of the best gymnasts in the world.

I'm sorry to say that while I really enjoyed getting to know Simone's story, I wish it was written better. It's clear to me that most of the writing was done by the ghost writer, probably from extensive interviews, old diaries,
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the autobiography of Simon Biles, a gymnast and an Olympic gold medalist. I liked that she sounded completely genuine in this. Her voice was clear. Her early childhood wasn't smooth sailing which led her to living with her grandparents. Them adopting her paved the road to her gymnastic career.

I liked that she talked about her struggles, determination and goals. But what I liked the most was her amazing attitude. She was incredibly positive even during the challenges she faced. She is a
Justine Kelly
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
My biggest fear with this book was that it was going to be too strongly ghost-written. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I could hear Simone's voice in the stories told. We learn a good amount about her birth mom and early upbringing - things she had never really elaborated on to the press previously. I also appreciated a lot of her anecdotes as the book took us through her rise in the gymnastics world. For instance, she mentions conversations with her sports psychologist several times, ...more
Olivia | Liv's Library
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"You go out there and be the best Simone you can be. And whatever that outcome is, well take it.

I grew up taking gymnastics lessons for 5 years and tumbling for 2 years. I also watched the summer Olympics religiously ever since I was a little girl!

How can you not love Simone? Her determination and passion is so inspiring! Her positive attitude especially stuck out to me, seeing as she bounced from foster homes to living with relatives as a child.
Faith M:)
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good!!! It told of Simones life story and journey to get to the Olympics:) ...more
Sunshine Rodgers
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself while I was reading this book. It felt like Simone took you on her journey with you as she went from a little child searching for stability and unconditional love to Gymnastics Stardom, with a lot of in-between: bouncy childhood, discovery of the world of the gym, "bratty" teenage years, the forming lifelong friendships, the making of many weighty decisions, and learning intense life lessons throughout it all. At first the content seemed kind of jumpy, but then I ...more
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book because it gave an inside view into Simone Biles life. I don't anyone could have written it better than Simone BIles herself. It showed her emotions through her wins and her losses.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lynette Rambousek
This was a short memoir, but a sweet one to listen to. Amazing attitude, confident yet humble. I truly enjoyed listen to her experiences to get to and win gold at the Olympics in gymnastics.
Kylie N.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
The 2016 gold medalist in the Olympics, two time nationals champion, and the phenomenal and breathtaking gymnast known and loved by Americans as Simone Biles, will entangle you in her breathtaking autobiography of how she came to be the gymnastic olympian that she is today. Apart from reading about the struggles and hard work that lead her to the first place podium in Rio, this book will teach you what hard work and strength is, as well as the sheer determination of following your goal. Courage ...more
Natalie Hogle
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this book is AMAZING! wow! the way Simone illustrates her victories and challenges is truly inspiring. I give this book five stars all the way! Simone did a beautiful job writing this great book!
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It was just so interesting to hear how this talented girl grew up into the gymnast she is today. During the book you could hear the voice of the Simone we all know and love so much. There is so much more to the friendly face we see on TV, such as the "Simone Bratty Period". I throughly enjoyed this book because Simone Biles was just an amazing role model to look up to. She faced so much adversity when she was younger, between moving through foster homes, to not doing as well on uneven bars, to ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the better gymnastics memoirs I've read, Simone Biles' Courage to Soar is not the most amazing story (I mran, yes, her accomplishments are amazing, but much of the book is about how fairly normal and relatable she is, and it isn't as though we don't know how her story ends), but her "co-writer" did a great job in turning it into an immensely readable one. I enjoyed reading about her memories, not just of her gymnastics career (though that is really well documented in this book), ...more
Christina DeVane
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was an easy read and super interesting as I like any books about peoples lives! The amount of time and effort put into developing a skill like gymnastics is pretty insane. Training becomes your life but the determination to keep going and overcome any setback is inspiring! Simone experienced early success and might be a natural in her field, but she worked incredibly hard for all her successes! ...more
Jayme Fink
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The theme of this story is to never give up on your dreams. Even if you're not the best always give it your all and definitely don't let your height get in the way of what your dream is
Kristin Ogburn
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this audiobook with my daughters as it was on their middle school summer reading list. We loved Simone Biles' story rising out of foster care and becoming an amazing Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics. Very inspiring - she is a wonderful role model for young girls!
W. Whalin
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An Incredible Biography with Life Lessons for Every Reader

Simone Biles captured Americas attention during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Her smile and cheery personality combined with her amazing gymnastic skills which made her a four-time winner of Olympic gold medals. COURAGE TO SOAR tells the story of her journey to achieve such success.

Beyond the immense success, Biles tells about the challenges and disappointments of her story. When she missed getting on the Nationals, Biles says, The same
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I would give this book a 4.5. I have always been a fan of gymnastics. Amazed at what these talented athletes can do. Simone Biles our most recent Olympian writes a nice memoir. She wrote this soon after the Olympics in 2016 Rio. As anyone who followed the Olympics and gymnastics, know that Simone Biles is an amazing gymnast winning gold medals and many other rewards and titles in her short life. She is honest about her life. She was born in Ohio to a single mother. Her mother had a problem with ...more
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
All I'm going to say could people not love Simone?
May Ling
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Summary: It's amazing how much we can learn from such a young person who has achieved so much. While few will go to the Olympics, many will want to acquire Olympic like grit to achieve their goals. This is who I read this young lady's message.

Video Review to come. Would so appreciate if you follow me on instagram at: WhereIsMayLing to see this and other reviews in my 100 day reading challenge.

I'd never thought about what it's like to really be an Olympic level gymnast. It's so easy to relegate
Chrissie Morrison
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am fairly certain Simone Biles was the person who most inspired my daughter to start taking gymnastics classes a couple of years ago.  That tiny but mighty gymnast -- with super muscular arms and legs and a smile that could outshine any camera flash -- had a body type and a perky attitude that matched my daughter to a T.  My daughter has always had more energy than she knew what to do with, and I've long called her a little monkey because of her propensity to climb anything she could, but I ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Courage to Soar details Simone Biles' inspiring journey from foster child to the most decorated female gymnast in history. Getting to know bubbly, extroverted Simone is so fun as she discusses her lucky turtle collection, Zac Efron crush, embarrassing brat phase and dream of creating her own line of leos. Simone's passion for gymnastics and for the girls she competes and trains with is contagious. My eyes got misty when she talked about how she and Aly Raisman supported each other throughout the ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
I read this because I just watched her Lifetime biopic and wanted to see how many liberties Lifetime was taking with her story (they took some for sure, obviously). My preferred type of gymnastics bio is one in which the person has some darker and therefore more compelling to read about experiences in the sport, like Chalked Up or Dominique Moceanu's book. Fortunately for Simone's life, this isn't a terribly compelling read because she mostly had nice, supportive people around her. There are ...more
Moriah Nolan
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alana Gustafson
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion; A Life in Balance by Simone Biles is one of the best books I have ever read. I loved reading this book because it starts out sad but get so much better and it is really uplifting. The book didnt just talk about the good part of Simone Biles it was also talking about how she can be a little sassy and rude, but thats how teenagers act. This book inspired me because Simone gave up school to be a better gymnast and even college. She may have a birth mom that is not ...more
Jordan Hester
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun and inspiring. Those are the two best words to describe this book, which was a step-by-step autobiography of how Simone Biles made it to the 2016 Rio Olympics. It was honestly a great read that I smiled almost constantly while reading. I usually don't enjoy (or even finish) autobiographies, but this one was truly amazing and is definitely recommended.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. While it is definitely written for young people, I felt that the details included and the storytelling were much more interesting and well-developed than some other similar memoirs I have read. There are a few mentions of spirituality - especially in the beginning - but I would feel comfortable sharing this memoir in student book clubs.
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43 likes · 10 comments
“Good night, Grandma!” I called as I was skipping out of the kitchen with Adria on my heels.
Grandma, who was at the sink rinsing dishes to stack in the dishwasher, stopped and looked at us. She had a funny expression on her face, which made Adria and me pause in the doorway and look back at her, waiting.
Grandma wiped her hands on a dishtowel and said, “Simone, Adria, come here.”
There was something different in her tone. I didn’t know what to expect
“You know, girls,” she said as we stood in front of her, “we adopted you both today. So I’m your mother now, and he”—she pointed at my grandpa, who was wiping the table mats—“he’s your father.”
Grandpa paused what he was doing, stood up straight, and smiled. I just glanced from one to the other, my eyes big and round. What had happened in court that day suddenly became clear.
“Does that mean I can call you Mom and Dad?” I asked.
“It’s up to you,” my grandma said, one hand cupping my cheek, the other one smoothing Adria’s hair. “Call us whatever you want to. Now go to bed.”
The two of us scampered upstairs without another word. But when Adria went into the bathroom to brush her teeth, I stood in the middle of our bedroom, my hands pressed against my temples. I was hopping from one foot to the other and jumping up and down, so much excitement was flowing through me.
Mom. Dad. Mom. Dad.
I kept whispering the words, getting used to the sound of them. Finally, feeling as if I would burst, I ran back downstairs to the kitchen.
“Mom?” I said, standing in the doorway.
She looked across at me, her lips twitching like she was trying not to smile.
“Yes, Simone?”
I turned to where Grandpa was putting away the table mats.
“What is it, Simone?”
“Nothing!” I said, squealing and bouncing up and down gleefully.
I had done it—I’d called them Mom and Dad!
I turned without another word and raced back up the stairs. In my room, I flopped backward onto my bed and let out a happy sigh. Adria and I were finally and forever home.
“I wasn’t thinking about our deal either when I got selected for the Worlds team. Being chosen to compete had been a jaw-dropping moment for me. But now I was riding a wave of excitement and fear. I’d be one of five girls carrying the banner for my country. Could I handle the pressure? I knew this was my test. I’d have to find a way to manage everyone’s expectations in order to keep them from making me feel overwhelmed. I needed to learn how to carry those expectations lightly—like a turtle carries its shell.” 2 likes
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